RATP Group will be actively participating in Expo 2020 Dubai. What are the main business challenges it faces in the Middle East?
L. B. Through RATP Dev, the Group operates out of Qatar, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. There are major public transport development opportunities in these countries. Egypt has 100 million inhabitants with an annual population growth rate of 2.5%, and Cairo alone is home to 20 million people. There is a great need for mobility and the National Authority for Tunnels, the Egyptian organising authority, has some particulaly bold projects. We are currently operating Cairo metro line 3, which is being extended. We are also involved in the foundation of Cairo’s New Administrative Capital, located 70 km from the city, with the creation of the equivalent of an RER line spanning the entire distance.
In addition, there are 90 km of monorail lines under construction, and metro lines 4, 5 and 6 are in the pipeline. The scope in Saudi Arabia is very similar. In Riyadh, we are managing the city’s first urban bus network and, in the near future, two metro lines alongside our local partner SAPTCO. Jeddah and Mecca also have several projects, and the AlUla and Neom developments include the provision of public transport. Such intense deployment creates tremendous development opportunities for us. Further projects are planned in Bahrain, for example.
"Mobility is an essential backbone for the fast-growing cities of the Middle East."
What sets you apart from the others with regard to organising authorities in the area?
L. B. All these projects have one thing in common: they match our core target.
We stand out because the projects involve metros—some of which are automated —and we are leaders in this field. Our ability to meet organising authorities’ expectations is widely acknowledged: they know that we make excellent partners for their programmes.
The appeal of the lines we operate facilitates the widespread use of these environmentally- friendly modes. This helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and tackle congestion.
In addition to our technical innovations that promote the energy transition, our approach to the passenger- focused mobility ecosystem constantly enhances the appeal of public transport. These are all major assets that we will be presenting to mobility stakeholders at the World Expo.